The Pixel 2 XL (from $ 849) is a real Google phone, probably the most used Google phone. The company has remixed its favorite features of HTC and LG to create an oversized lighthouse with a unique personality. Although the 6-inch Pixel 2 XL has approximately the same power and hardware capabilities as the 5-inch Pixel 2, the XL has better design and better performance. He also has the best smartphone camera that we have tested. But the highly controversial display, the most talked-about smartphone screen we’ve seen in years, means that this phone falls just below our publisher’s choice.
Here’s a small shock: although Google tries to hide it, the smaller Pixel 2 (made by HTC) and the larger Pixel 2 XL (made by LG) are different phones; it is not only large and small variants, such as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. They have very different screen panels, a different screen / body ratio, different audio calls and different audio performance.
The Pixel 2 XL from $ 849.99 on Verizon Wireless has the same 6-inch OLED Quad HD panel as the LG V30, but it’s in a modified chassis that is slightly larger at 6.2 inches by 6.1 cm from the V30. This is to make room for the front speakers. The back is a warm and comfortable mix of matt metal and glass, in black and white (or completely black). The phone measures 6.2 by 3.0 by 0.3 inches (HWD) and weighs 6.2 ounces – it is certainly bigger and heavier than the Galaxy S8 (5.9 by 2.7 by 0.3 inches), 5.5 ounces), but is slightly shorter than Note 8 at 0.3 inch, 6.9 ounce).
I am very happy to see the 18: 9-form factor here instead of the small Pixel 16: 9. After using a Samsung Galaxy S8 for a while, I have become an important proponent of large and narrow phones, so you have more screen space while still being able to hold them easily. It is IP67 water-resistant, like the latest Samsung phones.
Here is the explanation: Google takes this LG body and puts … HTC compression sensor on it! It bothers me a bit – the pressure sensor of the HTC U11 is now one of the most proud inventions – but apparently the technology was part of the HTC deal of $ 1.1 billion. Squeeze the phone slightly under its diaphragm, even if it is in one case, and it starts the Google assistant. You can change the compression sensitivity and it works even when the phone is switched off, but as far as I know, you can not change it to start another application.
Inside is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB or 128 GB of storage, just like the small pixel. The battery of 3520 mAh, as well as the relatively efficient software from Google and the screen not very bright, ensure an excellent battery life. We got 9 hours, 25 minutes of streaming LTE video streaming at the maximum brightness, which lies between the Galaxy S8 results (5 hours, 45 minutes) and Note 8 (10 hours) and surpasses the other major smartphones. The phone has Qualcomm’s fast charging technology, although charging via wireless network is lacking.
Screen and audio
The Pixel 2 XL has a 6-inch OLED display of 2,880 by 1,440, for 536 pixels per inch (ppi). It has the same resolution and pixel density as the V30, but not as close as the S8 (570ppi). According to our own tests and experts we have consulted, the screen is not the best on the market, but it is good. It is not as bright as the Galaxy Note 8 or Galaxy S8 screen, and its colors tend to be a bit cold and bluish. But the performance is completely in the acceptable range.
There are many people who do not share our opinion, and this issue of taste is so confrontational that we recommend you look at a Pixel 2 XL in a Verizon store before buying. Google went further and said it would add a brighter color mode, additional protection against burn-in and a two-year warranty. The fire protection is to make the screen somewhat darker, and this is not yet the brightest screen. This does not reduce our score for the Pixel 2 XL, but we must acknowledge the dynamics of the debate here.
The new Pixels do not have a headphone jack and are equipped with USB-C keys. You must use this adapter to connect headphones; For example, some third-party adapters that work with Motorola phones do not work here.
Google wants to push clearly with Bluetooth, and it grows a new technique of “shortcut”, which is supposed to facilitate the pairing of your Bluetooth headset. At the moment, however, it only works with a handful of helmets: the Libratone QAdapt About Ear Buds own Pixel Google Plantronics V8200, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II and a number of helmets manufactured by a company called Aiaiai. That said, I had no problem connecting the phone to my Plantronics Voyager UC headset.
The front of Pixel 2 XL offers the phone sound relatively rich, full, better than the Galaxy S8, the Note 8, the V30 or the Pixel 2. Compared to simple phones with speakers, a separation is more heard between the instruments. a number. Compared to the smaller Pixel, which has front-facing speakers, the XL looks fuller and is about 2 dB louder at the maximum volume.
Call quality and network
Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 2 have different differences in voice quality. The voices seem more rounded and less hard on this model than on the smaller pixel, although the smaller model is stronger. Transmissions through the microphone have great, but not quite perfect, noise reduction on both. The front speakers help in loudspeaker mode. Both phones have louder headphones and a more consistent voice than the latest iPhones.
Both Pixel 2’s are sports class 15, or 800 Mbps, LTE, and are compatible with all major US networks. They do not have Band 71, the new 600 MHz network from T-Mobile, especially for national coverage. If you are in one of the 71 band areas of T-Mobile, you need an LG V30, it is currently the only Band 71 phone.
Pixels get their best speeds on networks other than Sprint, because their 4×4 MIMO antennas are tuned to non-Sprint bands. (They work on Sprint, only in 600Mbps mode.) According to modern experts, the Pixel gigabit hardware has LTE, but Google has chosen not to support the full specification. It is a bit confusing, but more than just speed, we are happy to see MIMO 4×4 here for coverage and improving the signal strength it brings.
The dual-band Wi-Fi support is excellent, similar to the Samsung Galaxy phones. The Pixel 2 XL also has Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC.
Performance and software
When you get a pixel, you get the latest Google software, currently Android 8.0 Oreo. It is refreshing. You also get operating systems and security updates for everyone else. And you get Google apps, such as calendar and messaging apps, without redundant manufacturer apps. If you’re in piracy, the models purchased directly from Google (not by Verizon, more at this point in a bit) are easy to edit.
Google has added some minor adjustments with different levels of success. I like to play now, a feature that automatically listens to ambient music and tells you what is playing on the lock screen. But when I tried ten songs, it only worked on four of them. Google says it has the most popular leads and that it will be updated over time.
Google Lens has a promise; It is a feature that automatically recognizes text in photos or allows you to search for books, albums, artwork, and placements in Google Photos. It worked easily in the books I tried, but it is not a huge differentiator and I always forgot to mention it was there.
I surprised myself how much I used the new Squeeze-to-Google Assistant feature. You can set up the Google Assistant to activate it with voice even if the phone is locked. After some false start activations in conversations where I often said ‘Google’, I turned to the compression sensor. By pressing the telephone about two-thirds, the wizard appears (it was never activated by mistake). In one pixel, the wizard can manipulate settings on the device (such as turning off Wi-Fi) and answer questions on the Internet.
You can not forget that Google’s apps are better than OEM apps, and it’s nice to see them on a phone where they’re not needed. Google Assistant is by far better than Bixby Samsung because it asks perfectly on the device and on the internet, and the compression sensor is much better than the Bixby Samsung button, which is too easy to accidentally on.
A camera, not two
The Pixel 2 XL gets its camera in the right way. head sensor specifications are almost the same as our previous Editors’ Choice, the Samsung Galaxy S8, but the Google software is better than Samsung in low light, making it the best camera we have seen so far.
Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL share a main camera configuration of 12.2 MP, f / 1.8. This seems to be the perfect place for telephone sensors; go higher in terms of megapixels and you lose the opportunities for low light.
The Google Camera app has relatively few modes and options. By default, there is no manual mode or RAW support, but you can get both through third-party applications (and the vast majority of people are automatically enabled). The phone contains moving photos that, like live photos from Apple, add a short video to your photos.
Google also manages to use the bokeh portrait mode with the single camera sensor via the software. We took a photo of a bearded very GSMArena editor, and it worked very well, but the hair strayed behind other hair tended to be blurred in the background. It is not perfect, but it is no worse than double camera phones. Bokeh also works with the 8-megapixel camera on the front.
In automatic mode, the Pixel 2 XL takes the best pictures of all the devices we have tested this year. Although the results are comparable with the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 in full light, the Pixel 2 XL really shines in low light. He is able to bring a little more light, allowing them to increase the shutter speed and reduce blur, and the color balance is something that the S8 / Note 8. While rating 8 would judge some skin tones that are too bluish the Pixel made our test model more human.
The front camera features 8 megapixels, in theory, a narrower opening of the Galaxy phones do-f / 2.4 to f / 1.7, resulting in brighter pictures, noisier and less bright than Samsung. The image quality of Samsung is affected by an intense smoothing algorithm that is part of the standard settings and does not suit everyone. In good light, the front images of the Pixel are fantastic.
The Pixel 2 XL does not have a second main camera that all competitors like the LG V30, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone Plus models all have. I recently wondered whether the wide-angle zoom or 2x zoom is a better approach, but we agreed that the second cameras have advantages. That said, the advantage of a second camera is no bigger than the best possible main camera, and the Pixel 2 XL has the best possible camera.
The camera can also improve with time. Google says it has a Visual Core Pixel processor in the phone that is not yet active, but that will improve HDR photography in mixed light conditions. The chip will be active in the coming weeks with Android Oreo 8.1 “The HDR performance of the Pixel is already excellent, so it’s just the icing on the cake.
If you want to live in VR, the Pixel 2 XL is the best phone to choose from.
I am skeptical about the appeal of RV; I think it’s about to be overtaken by augmented reality, which nobody is doing right now, but we’ll hear a lot about it in 2018. But the Daydream system from Pixel 2 XL, with the new Daydream View headset from $ 99 is slightly more comfortable to wear and cheaper than Samsung Gear VR. Neither system will overwhelm you with a huge selection of VR content, which is the fatal VR error.
However, this is an area where the largest pixel jumps for the smallest. It’s hard to see the difference between a 440ppi screen and a 536ppi panel with the naked eye, but it’s a lot easier when wearing a VR headset: Daydream on the smaller Pixel seems very grainy, to a distracting degree , so that it is acceptable to grind on the Pixel 2 XL. You see the biggest difference in the text. The words seem to shift and draw distractingly to the smallest pixel, making it a somewhat unpleasant phone to use for VR.
Where to buy and conclusions
Buying a Pixel 2 XL may be a bit out of your comfort zone because it is not sold directly by most providers. But it is worth it. Verizon sells the 64GB Pixel 2 XL directly for $ 849.99 or $ 35.41 per month. But this model has bloatware and a locked bootloader. Instead, go to the Google Store Online, where it costs $ 849 or $ 35.38 per month.
By balancing the Pixel 2 XL against the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy has a brighter screen, a standard headphone connection, wireless charging and a microSD card slot. It is also a bit easier to keep because it is narrower. The Pixel 2 XL offers cleaner, more up-to-date software, longer battery life, better low-light performance and none of that Bixby nonsense.
It was not for this split screen. At this moment, if you do not want to be checked in the store, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 are no problem. But we recommend that you take a look yourself, see what the Pixel 2 XL has to offer and whether you can see how you use one.